KINAESTHETIC BROADCASTING & MEDIA DEVICE CONCEPT
In the Spring of 2011 BBC R&D's User Experience Design team undertook a pilot collaboration with the Royal College of Art in London.
For one month, students from the Innovation Design Engineering and History of Design courses worked with BBC R&D staff members to produce concepts and prototypes for future development. The topics covered included intergenerational content, cross devices experiences and interactions in the future connected home.
Below is a short video about the project which gives a flavour of the kind of work done in which you can hear my teammate Chris Natt talking about our concept "Trigger" also defined as the Kinaesthetic Broadcasting & Media Device concept:
"Trigger" was a solution proposed to tackle the following issue:
Can assistive technologies for disabled viewers be delivered in a way that compliments and enhances the viewing experience of others in a shared space?
Our research was based on the different senses that are used by media nowadays: hearing and sight mainly. If someone is impaired from one of those senses, he already loses more than half of the content. Television, radio or even internet, as social activities, can in this way contribute to exclusion. Our goal was to create inclusion by evolving media formats that incorporate assistive technologies desirable to all.
We developed a fully working prototype by combining a vibration motor and a pressure cuff (existing tensiometer for blood pressure control) activated by a remote. By identifying the key moments before and trying combinations of kinesthetic stimuli - vibration or pressure, we made user test our settings on a scene to enhance their viewing experience.
In the future, we imagined that just like sound effects are added after filming, the same thing may be done with kinesthetic effects - not only vibration and pressure but also balance, direction or temperature - Libraries of data could be made for "kinesthetic engineers" to apply to scenes. Even more, new streams of data would need to be recorded. This may mean that actors have to be fitted with small units to record their movements, heart rates etc.
Our Kinaesthetic Broadcasting & Media Device concept is being developed further by BBC R&D engineers in conjunction with the RCA and will then be assessed in the BBC's dedicated User Testing Laboratory at Dock House in MediaCityUK. Our prototype was also tested on a small kids audience at the Festival of Science in Manchester on the 24th of October 2011 - http://www.manchestersciencefestival.com/whatson/game-on
You can read more about the collaboration itself in a previous blog post:
Ⓒ 2011 Luc Fusaro
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